Rutabaga is a gluten free and nutritious root vegetable that can be substituted for potato in many recipes. For my Shepherd’s Pie, I use mashed rutabaga as a topping instead of the traditional mashed potato. This meal has been a family favorite for years and it was easy to modify the recipe to a gluten free version. If you are gluten free, you probably eat a lot of potatoes so this is a nice change from the usual. Give it a try, delicious, gluten free Shepherd’s Pie with Rutabaga.
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FOR THE FILLINg:
- 8 oz. lean ground beef
- 4 oz. gluten free Italian sausage
- olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 cups gluten free frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corn)
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. gluten free Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup gluten free broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
- rice flour, for dusting
For the Topping:
- 1/2 large rutabaga or yellow turnip
- Salt, to taste
- 1 cup grated cheese (I used gruyere)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1% milk (or use half and half)
- Italian parsley for garnish
Peeling the rutabaga is the hardest part of the recipe, so we begin by giving those arm muscles a workout! Use a good sturdy knife and cut ¼” off the bottom, so you have a flat stable surface. Then set it on a cutting board and run your knife down the sides to peel.
Cut the rutabaga in half, and slice one half into large cubes. Reserve the other half for another meal (it makes great oven fries).
Heat water in a sauce pan with a steamer basket. Steam the rutabaga cubes until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Add salt to taste, remove from heat and set aside. This step usually takes 30-45 minutes, so I will often steam the rutabaga a day ahead and reheat it in the microwave when I’m ready to finish the dish.
I’m preparing this dish in a cast iron Braising pan. I’ll cook and serve dinner all in the same dish for easy cleanup! You can also use an oven safe skillet, a Dutch oven, or if you don’t have an oven safe option simply transfer everything to a baking dish to finish in the oven. To get started on the filling, heat a little olive oil in the pan over medium low and add the ground beef and sausage, breaking the meat up with a spatula to brown. Add the onion and garlic.
You can throw the frozen vegetables right into the pan, they will defrost quickly. Cook 4 minutes. Clear a spot in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste. Let it cook for a minute before stirring into the meat and veggies. Season with salt and pepper.
Next add the thyme and Worcestershire sauce, then add the broth and reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes. You can dust a little rice flour over the mixture to help things along.
To make the topping I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. You can also use a food processor or potato masher. Combine the cooked rutabaga (reheat it if you made it the day before) with 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, 3 tbsp. butter and a big pinch of salt.
The recipe is very forgiving so substitute any cheese that you prefer, even cream cheese will work.
Mix on low speed as you drizzle in a little 1% milk (or use half and half for a richer taste), until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Spoon the rutabaga mash evenly over the top, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out. If you are transferring to a baking dish, be sure to coat it with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika and bake for 25 minutes, then finish under the broiler for 4 minutes more to brown the top. Keep an eye on it, after all that work you don’t want it to burn!
When you remove it from the oven the sides will be bubbling, so let it rest for a few minutes before serving. I like to garnish it with Italian parsley before bringing it to the table. Mmmm, it is so delicious, and you will be surprised at how filling it is! I hope you will try the recipe, it’s an interesting twist on this traditional comfort food dish.
Notes ♪♫ As always, check ingredient labels and make sure all prepared foods such as the broth do not contain hidden gluten. I used Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce in this recipe, but watch labeling as it is gluten free in the US but may not be in Canada. Goya frozen mixed veggies are labeled gluten free. For the cheese, I always buy a block and grate my own. If you use shredded cheese, be sure to check the ingredients, some additives may contain gluten.